Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that it fired a warning shot at a British warship and dropped bombs in its path near the contested Crimean peninsula, which the United Kingdom denies, according to Reuters.
Russia’s defense ministry said the incident happened near Cape Fiolent, according to Reuters. Cape Fiolent, located on Crimea’s southern shores is near Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black sea fleet is headquartered.
Moscow claims Crimea is Russian territory after annexing it in 2014. Most of the international community, including the United States, sides with Ukraine in refusing to recognize the peninsula as part of the Russian Federation, Reuters reported. (FLASHBACK: Putin, Obama Meet For First Time Since Crimean Annexation).
The Russian Defense ministry said that the British warship sailed about 2 miles into Russian territorial waters near Crimea before leaving following the confrontation, Reuters reported.
“The destroyer had been warned that weapons would be used if it trespasses the border of the Russian Federation. It did not react to the warning,” the ministry said.
The ministry further said that besides firing warning shots at the vessel, Russian bombers dropped four highly explosive fragmentation bombs in the ship’s path, according to Reuters.
A clear proof of Ukraine’s position: Russia’s aggressive and provocative actions in the Black and Azov seas, its occupation & militarization of Crimea pose a lasting threat to Ukraine and allies. We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine & NATO allies in the Black Sea. https://t.co/VjBPxRWU3d
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) June 23, 2021
The altercation demonstrates that Russia’s “aggressive and provocative policies” in the Black Sea and nearby Azov Sea are a “continuous threat to Ukraine and its allies,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a Wednesday afternoon Twitter post.
“We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine & NATO allies in the Black Sea,” Kuleba wrote.
The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense’s press office said Wednesday in a Twitter post that contrary to Russian claims, “No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender.”
“The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law,” the ministry said.
We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.
No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.
— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) June 23, 2021
“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity. No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path,” the Ministry of Defense further stated in another tweet.